[TRIGGER] Male/25 - no job, has some depression/anxiety & mild bipolar, is on medications. Is not working a choice he is conciously making? Prefers to be awake nights and sleep days. Started medications about 3 months ago, lithium, depression medications & sleep aides. At our witts end of what to do here. No desire for anything but sleep, eat, read, PC in his life. Should we insist? He is not DIS abled! Don't most people with these problems medicate and actually FUNCTION in society?!! Is it just an EXCUSE!?!!? How can we find out when he's not open and honest w/us and apparently finding any excuse possible to avoid life? This is the most difficult situation we've ever dealt with and wondering how we can continue to live in a reasonably normal situation with him? He is living at our house, there are rules in place, he will be getting DL back in the next week or two and is required to find work at that time. We will give him a little time to do so, if no effort then he will have to leave even if that means being homeless. Can not deal any longer with this. I just hope it does not get to that point.
Every person is different, so this is just based off of my opinion and experience.
I am mixed bipolar, hereditary and at age 19 was working 2 jobs and taking care of my dying Father, my mama & a lil brother. Many people his age, whether diagnosed with bp or something else, will use that as an excuse not to work. Its called 'justifiable laziness'.
3 months sounds like long enough for the meds to take effect, but maybe a follow up with the doc is needed and blood work especially since he is on lithium.
Again, in my opinion, I would stick to my grounds and give him a time limit. not just a sentence like 'a few days' but tell him a specific DATE. period. As much as you may want to help, you also do not want to harbor 'justiafiable laziness'. That doesnt help him get better and only makes you worse!
I KNOW I am crazy....THAT is what keeps me from going INSANE!!!
Oceans and Stars- Dyanne
To answer one of your questions, yes, it is possible for those with mental health issues to get on meds and function just fine in society; but there are also those who can't, or it will take a lot of work before they get there. Is he on disability (SSDI)?
Just from what little you wrote about him, it sounds to me he is depressed. ALso, he's only been taking his meds for 3 months; maybe the particular meds he's on are not the right combo for him. Does he communicate with his doctor re how or if the meds are working or if there are any unbearable side effects? That's the only way his pdoc (psychiatrist) can help him get on the right meds (if he's not already)
But I can understand how you may see his behavior as just using excuses to not work and do nothing because I assume you haven't been there - but if he's truly depressed, then he's not able to work right now. To throw someone out of the house because he's sick is showing a lack of compassion and understanding. Granted, I DO realize taht I don't know the whole story of your situation, so I'm just saying what I see. Depression can be very debilitating. AT one point I was employed for over 11 years and then depression started to take over and I had to go on disability for 6 years. Six years of doing nothing but working on getting better so that I could eventually get back to work. Some of my family thought I was just being lazy or dind't feel like working anymore, but I had to just ignore them about that because I knew better.
Is he currently seeing a therapist to help him work on his life? If not, that would be a good idea, but he's the one who has to make that choice. It sounds like right now, he's not ready to do much of anything, but tthat's not because he's lazy or that's he's making a conscious choice of not working or participating in life. I'm sure that if he could, he would.
You can set some ground rules of behaviour for him since he is living at your home, but make sure they are within his reach. To expect him to go out and get a job in two weeks is far beyond what he's apparently capable of right now. But maybe coming up with some things he needs to do around the house isn't unreasonble and will give him a sense of belonging and being needed. He may rebel at first (or not) but kicking him out to the wolves on the street in his state of mind, I would not do, not even consider. If it's getting too stressful for you, then maybe there's somewhere else he can go - but not on the streets.
I'm sorry this situation is so stressful for you, and I can understand how it would be. I know that it can be pretty difficult living with somoene who is depressed. Heck, sometimes I don't like living with myself when I get depressed! So personally, I don't fault you for that - I only encourage you to take into consideration that this young man really is depressed and at this point in his life, not able to work or to function in society the way you would like for him. That's hard to watch, but it's part of the crippling aspect of mental illness.
Hang in there Debbie
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
I suggest that you go with him to his next doctor's appointment where you can express your concerns. His doctor is really the best person to evaluate his condition and whether he is able to work. If not, then his doctor can help him get on disability.
I agree with Debbie that he still sounds depressed and may need a med change. I think it is very difficult for people who have not gone through depression to really understand how devestating it can be. I did work for 14 years when I finally lost my job because I could not function anymore. It wasn't a case where I didn't want to work. In fact I was devastated when I lost my job because I always felt that even though I was ill I could keep a job and that was a point of pride for me. Now I can't work because of physical problems but I prefer to work when I can.
I guess my best example is when I worked swing shift and I was mostly alone and I had a roll of toilet paper next to me because I couldn't stop crying. When someone would come in I would pretend that I had a cold. After going through years of these episodes I finally had a complete meltdown, ending up in the hospital every other month and was finally fired from my job.
I am not saying that his situation is as serious as mine, I don't know him. But keep in mind that men tend to bottle up their feelings.
I think you have a legitimet (sorry about spelling) concern but please don't jump to the conclusion that he is being lazy. There may be more going on than meets the eye.
You might want to check out an organization called NAMI. They have support groups for friends and family of people who have a mental illness. They also have educational classes as well.
I've heard of NAMI, in fact I took a week long course in recognizing how I might be able to help someone with mental illness, what a dummy I've been when it's been right in front of me all along! I can't believe I didn't think about that, it wasn't too long ago either! God!
Thanks for the replies, they really help to read your individual opinions.
Today I took my son to the outpatient at the hospital at his request. I still don't know if this is a ploy to avoid the inevitable, that he will either get a job or find out why he is not able and decide what will ENABLE him because he is not willing and has put us off for an inexcusable amount of time. We've encouraged, we've allowed him to stay in our home but all he does is as I mentioned, eats, sleeps, reads or uses the pc. Absolutely no social life. Avoids family avoids life altogether. This is the third time he has used the outpatient emergency to 'check himself in.' He is not willing to openly talk with us and try to help us understand how we might best help him. When we place time limits on him such as getting his license back after the DUI and going to find work, something has each time come up a day or two prior to where he seems to find a way to put things off again. He will not help himself unless we coherce him by giving him instruction specifically on what we would like to have him do. Even then it is a struggle. He has slept hours on end, does not take his medications correctly. Stopped one of his medications (mentioned in another post) without contacting his dr. because he tells me he knows what they would say since he only just started using it. Will not discuss why he won't work except that he will get a job 'as soon as...' Time is up with us. He is 24 years old and acting like an infant. We already raised him! He IS totally capeable of doing something but is CHOOSING NOT TO! We are really no longer responsible for him nor can we tolerate his dishonesty and deception. He manipulates anyone he can, he is very intelligent yet I assure you although he thinks he does, he does not know it all. We had a rough ride the first half hour to the hospital because I'd hoped to be able to have an open discussion with him. So often I am stressed before the talk ever gets off the ground. He does not want to answer my questions or he will lie. I can't understand why other than he is seriously avoiding issues that he does not want to deal with. This is a 24 year old man, whether or not he is able to work should be addressed. He does not want us to talk to his psychiatrist or therapist because he feels we do not trust him to tell us and unfortunately he is RIGHT, we have been played and lied to more times than not. When he sees that we are seriously telling him to choose then he seems to get worse with his behaviors. He will not leave his room to talk with us, he seems to avoid conversation of any seriousness altogether but we have decided it is time. He can not lay on his butt forever and dismiss life. He said he hates it here but he sure is in no hurry to leave! He will have his license back very soon and I think this worries him because we told him he will have to work or get out. After today, I mean business, it is affecting my health and emotional wellness dealing with him. We have tried to be patient and give him every opportunity but EVERY time he has taken some way out and returned at the last to the outpatient emergency whatever they call it. They keep him for 96 hours or something like that. I truly believe he is avoiding life and responsibility of any kind. I told him I read that the doctor would have to actually sign a form stating he was not able to work, he got very upset saying why can't we believe HIM, why do we need a doctor to sign anything???? Well... that IS what is required if he has to go to a group home or get on some type of disability isn't it??? We unfortunately have had enough excuses and our lives turned upside down for trying to love and help but truly, enough is enough, the line has to be drawn. I don't deny he has a problem but he needs to stop blaming everyone else and start looking within to HELP HIMSELF!!!! Thank you for letting me vent. Comments are most welcome.
...I would add that this being his 3rd or 4th time this year alone in the hospital, I think psych ward that somehow he uses that as a place to buy time to recharge. He really is otherwise normal in every regard even though he has the bipolar II with depression. These 'episodes' have began when something was expected of him which were usually followed by repeat visits to the psych ward at his request. I truly don't know if he is manipulating them and us because it seems he has it planned out when he gets worried he'll have to finally do something with himself. I truly see it as a way to avoid responsibility. They see to his needs in those places too I would assume. He has played them, he shared about his first experience and trying to pick up one of the nurses! He was serious too. He did find another young woman who interestingly is currently in a psych ward after moving back to her hometown at present. He really can be quite charming and manipulative but other than that expects everything and everyone else to take care of him in life. I could go on but think I will save more for another time. Our hearts are deeply saddened but really, when does our responsibility end and his begin? We have supported him, now we believe since we have seen nothing become a pattern after this long that we have a right to tell him to find a place to live when he gets out of the pysch ward even if it's a homeless shelter or group home because we just can't surround ourselves with that kind of drama in our lives any longer. Again, thanks for your time.
I have tried to be sympathetic to your position and many of us have given you suggestions on how to deal with your situation. However, I find your attitude completely insulting to those of us who have been through the hell of mental illness. I sincerely doubt that your son is manipulating you. Your son has a severe mental illness. Do you think it is normal for a young healthy man to stay in his room all the time instead of getting out? Tell me why would he choose to be miserable? To get out of working? Give me a break!
Has it ever occured to you that maybe the reason he doesn't talk to you is because he knows you judge him? I would not confide in you either!
You should probably hook up with Matt because he has a support group for family and friends of the mentally ill. I don't know how others feel but I don't think you belong here anymore.
agree with Pixie, we have sympathized but it doesnt seem like you get it. you seem a little selfish to me. dont get me wrong everyone is entitled to concerns and boundries but what your doing is too harsh. im 27 and still live at home, whats the problemt with that?
I am so sorry. It is so hard to know what is right. I never meant to sound so selfish. I know it is hard for him but it is hard to know what he is feeling and honestly because I need to understand this illness more I really don't have a clue. Maybe I need counseling. I truly am sorry I do not mean to offend anyone suffering this, I simply and maybe selfishly just want life to be okay. Maybe it was good to open up to see myself and how I need to think and learn how to better deal with this situation you are right. The heart does hurt deeply but I don't want to hurt anyone. So sorry, so very sorry.
Thank you for mentioning support for family and friends, if they can help open my eyes I would be willing to find it if you would please post a link to how I can find it. I never ever meant to offend anyone, I am SO sorry.
I know where pixie and tae are coming from, but you do have a complex situation anon. Notwithstanding he is bipolar, there are many many guys his age who just dont want to move forward or work, so it is hard to determine what is 'real' versus what is 'lazy'. I hate to see you give up on him, BUT he does have to want to help himself first. no one can do that but him and if he just stops taking his meds whenever he feels like it, then he does not want to help himself. I would really push for a group therapy session. maybe present it to him as 'if you really want to stay here and want us to help we have to need some professional knowledge' The correct words kinda in the form of negotiation. also remind him regardless of where he lives, there are rules and limitations and that does not change just because he is 24, especially if he is living under your roof and you are supporting him.
I KNOW I am crazy....THAT is what keeps me from going INSANE!!!
Oceans and Stars- Dyanne
Hi Anon, I have copied and pasted some things that you said in your latest post and I want to comment after each quote.
"all he does is as I mentioned, eats, sleeps, reads or uses the pc. Absolutely no social life. Avoids family avoids life altogether."
Wow, sounds like someone who's definitely ready and able to work to me! (sarcasm)
"He will not help himself unless we coherce him by giving him instruction specifically on what we would like to have him do. Even then it is a struggle. He has slept hours on end, does not take his medications correctly. Stopped one of his medications"
Look at what you wrote as if you were reading it about someone else. He's not functioning because he's depressed, NOT because he's manipulating or is lazy. He's not taking his meds, which of course, adds to his problems.
"Time is up with us. He is 24 years old and acting like an infant. We already raised him! He IS totally capeable of doing something but is CHOOSING NOT TO! "
Do you mean, "he WAS totally capable of doing something, but he's sick now and is currently not capable of making right choices for himself?" I'm sure that he has lots of skills, but when severely depressed, you don't always have the ability to access those skills.
"He said he hates it here but he sure is in no hurry to leave! He will have his license back very soon and I think this worries him because we told him he will have to work or get out"
If I were him, I'd be TERRIFIED if I knew that in order to have a safe roof over my head I was required to do something I was not ready or able to do! I emphathize with hm! Of course he hates it there - you judge hm, don't believe him, think he's just pretending, believe he is capable of something he's currently not, and more. But he's in no hurry to leave because at least where he's at, he's safe. If he had other viable options, I'm sure he would take them.
"I truly believe he is avoiding life and responsibility of any kind"
Umm, yes, I'm sure he is, but NOT because he wants to, but because right now, life is too much to face. When he gets well, then he can face life and thrive with it!
"he has the bipolar II with depression"
So do I, so I know what he's going through. Our situations different, but I know what that kind of depression feels like! I know what it's like to be terrified to work, YET I HAVE THE SKILLS TO WORK! It has NOTHING to do with having or not having skills!
"when does our responsibility end and his begin?"
He is your responsibilty until you or he dies! Your boy is sick and needs your unconditional love and support - He CAN get well with the proper treatment AND when he hits rock bottom and is willing and ready to put the needed work into it - but to throw him out on his azz wouldn't be the most loving thing to do. If it's too stressful for you to deal with this, then understandable - then find a good, loving, supportive place for him to live for both your sakes!
"we have a right to tell him to find a place to live when he gets out of the pysch ward even if it's a homeless shelter or group home because we just can't surround ourselves with that kind of drama in our lives any longer"
Yes, I suppose you do have the right to do that...and he has the right to be treated with as much respect and dignity as anyone without his mental illness, and that this respect is NOT conditioned on what he does, but WHO he is!
I hope you can get some help for your son and yourself SOON!
Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been any different --Unknown
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